Multiple new schemes to strengthen the local Malay/Muslim community
From subsidised marriage programs to improvements to the volunteering infrastructure, here are some of the new plans the Government has rolled out.
During the debate on the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth’s (MCCY) Committee of Supply on Mar 8, the speeches under Muslim Affairs focused on the theme of Strengthening Our Community of Success.
Various programs were announced to help support the local Malay/Muslim community, including equipping asatizah (religious teachers) with necessary competencies, enhancing support for families, strengthening outreach to families and nurturing life-long learners and a thriving workforce.
In a move to support the local Muslim community, the Government has implemented subsidies for marriage preparation programs from next month onwards.
Catering to first-time Muslim marriages registered under the Registry of Muslim Marriages, couples can apply for a $70 rebate on the Cinta Abadi marriage preparation course.
As the full cost of the course currently costs between $200 and $260, this new subsidy will help shave down costs by almost a third.
During the course, couples will be taught important lessons on effective communications skills, financial literacy tips and how to manage challenges in their marriage, among other things.
During the debate, Minister-in-charge of Muslim Affairs Mr Masagos Zulfiki said, “We need to strengthen our Malay/Muslim families, who are the key building blocks of our community. A key area that requires attention is the changing needs of families.”
Asatizah will also be better equipped with the necessary competencies to remain relevant and confidently lead Singapore’s Malay/Muslim community.
The Islamic Religious Council of Singapore (MUIS), has launched the Postgraduate Certificate in Islam in Contemporary Society for graduates from overseas religious institutions in addition to implementing the Asatizah Workforce Development Plan to better equip them with skills to remain relevant.
There will also be a new government-led office that will be set up by the middle of this year to better organise Malay/Muslim volunteers and manage community resources more effectively.
This improvement comes under the M3 collaboration between MUIS, Mendaki and PA MESRA and is meant to better organise Malay/Muslim volunteers and manage community resources more effectively.
One of the office’s top priorities is to focus on building the capabilities of volunteers at M3@towns, a platform to help residential communities in selected areas.
Volunteers under the M3 programme will be trained to deepen their understanding of national policies and government schemes, as well as equip them with the skills to help vulnerable families.
According to Dr Maliki Osman, Minister in the Prime Minister’s office, these efforts would help “raise the awareness about our various programmes and government schemes, and improve access for them and their children… and therefore, pave the way for a better life for them.”